What Would You Do If You Saw a Man Being Abused By a Woman?

BY: - 26 Sep '13 | Marriage

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by Theodore R. Johnson, The Grio

While at dinner with friends, I noticed a nice-looking, well-dressed couple in the booth adjacent to ours. The conversation at our table, however, was interrupted by the hushed tones of a furious woman.

“You’re using the wrong fork, idiot! Daniel — why are you so damn stupid?!”

Our table could not believe what we’d just heard. But more than that, we all silently prepared for the loud and escalating argument we were certain was about to occur. Should it turn into an all-out shouting match, or even become a physical altercation, we knew we would have to pull the hulking black man away from his angry woman.

When men are abused

But what happened next shocked us even more: nothing. Daniel didn’t do or say a thing in response. Instead, he hung his head and slouched his shoulders, and then quietly picked up his salad fork.

The berating continued. She told Daniel to sit up straight and stop slumping like a punk. She insulted his clothes and his hair. She called him worthless, stupid, and a bum. Then she said, “You’re just sorry. Do you know how many men want to take me out? And you can’t even buy me an appetizer!”

What we witnessed was domestic abuse. The Office of Violence against Women at the Department of Justice defines this as, “a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship that is used by one partner to gain or maintain power and control over another intimate partner.” This includes emotional abuse that, “undermines an individual’s sense of self-worth,” such as “constant criticism and name-calling.”

Offering protection — to a man?

Recognizing this as abuse was easy. The harder part was determining what, if anything, we could do. This was further complicated by the fact that a woman was the perpetrator here. Three men – my friends and I – publicly confronting a woman for abusing her partner runs so counter to societal norms that it can be paralyzing when action is needed most.

From an early age, society conveys certain truisms about gender and abuse: men do not need protection from women; a group of men confronting a woman presents a threat to her safety and well-being; verbal abuse is not a significant event that warrants intervention. These perceptions are especially exaggerated in the black community where traditional gender roles, exacerbated by the influence of racism, take on a particular character.

Click through to read the rest of When Men are Battered on theGrio.com.

About the author

TheGrio.com wrote 13 articles on this blog.

TheGrio is the official NBC News community devoted to perspectives that affect and reflect the African-American community.


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3 WordPress comments on “What Would You Do If You Saw a Man Being Abused By a Woman?

  1. Nikki Crawford

    I have seen women that do this very thing. Our men are berated enough by society with us doing the same thing. This woman has man issues and she needs to seek help. A man is only going to take so much until he snaps, and someone gets hurt. Women like her does not realize what kind of man she has and she does not appreciate him. A woman’s place is to help him get where he needs to be, not where she wants him. My parents taught me a lot about a man and the difference between a good man and a bad man. A bad man would have gotten up and slapped her down and walked out. But this man showed restraint. He took her abuse because he knows she has a problem. I am a single woman and I see women that think it is all about them. It is not about you. It is a US thing. I know everyone thinks I am being sexist but I am being real. You can kick a dog for only so long before it bites you. I feel at this point she needs to be bitten. A well deserve bite!!!

  2. Eugenia

    Emotional abuse is so prevalent in this society and the least recognized and the least talk about. The gentlemen was being emotionally abused but that’s b/c he is codependent and has no healthy boundaries. We have women and yes men being regularly abused by partners this abuse leads to other things sometimes, verbal or physical abuse but it all starts with emotional. Parents are emotionally abusing kids, kids emotionally abusing parents, spouses emotionally abusing each other, bosses are emotionally abusing workers and friends are doing the same. It’s all because it’s normalized. You know why ppl so readily emotionally abuse ppl in public b/c unlike physical abuse it’s recognized as abuse, you’re not pariah if you emotionally abuse ppl. Trust and believe this poor man has been emotionally abused all his life, he thinks that normal for most codependents it is. Emotional abuse leads to depression, panic/anxiety, PTSD and yes suicide. You know what you can’t do anything about her most abusers feel justified but he can do something about himself. If you’re in this situation, please get some help for codependency and poor boundaries, things can be different. Trust me, I know b/c I was the spouse of a man who emotionally abused me for almost 13 years but I fled from that evil. I got help, I have a better life and a better marriage to a new wonderful man. It can be different but he’s the one that make it different, don’t expect ppl to stop abusing you if you just let them.

  3. Anonymous

    You can look at this “situation” both ways. Maybe the man is being verbally abused, or – maybe this man has treated this woman wrong through-out their marriage- maybe he cheated on her, can’t keep a job, don’t take care of the kids – can’t pay the bills on times and now this woman has found her voice and she’s out for revenge before she divorce him!!! Just something to make you think 🙂

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Why I Believe that Soul Mates Don’t Exist

BY: - 27 Sep '13 | Marriage

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Recently I’ve had more than one conversation or debate about finding your soul mate and whether most people were actually waiting for “the one.” I personally hope that most people aren’t waiting around for their soul mate, because I don’t believe that soul mates exist.

Now I will readily admit, I am not always the most romantic lady in the room. I will take a thriller over a fairy tale any day of the week.  But outside of what we see in fairy tales, I don’t believe there’s any real basis for the idea of “soul mates” as we’ve come to define it in the present day. The idea that there is one individual on this planet who is going to be completely compatible with you in every single area of life is not Biblical, it has no root in psychology, and it is, quite frankly, something we as a society just made up.

I’m not talking about this today to try and crush romantic dreams. I’m saying it because the belief that there is a “one” with whom everything just clicks, I believe, is part of the reason behind the failure of a lot of relationships. Human beings are not magical keys sculpted to open your specific heart lock. And even if upon meeting one another you snap together like LEGOs, those compatible parts shift and change. The idea that there is a pre-destined person with whom it is supposed to “just work” is one way that we absolve ourselves of the doing the thing that is just as important as finding the one: doing the work.

How often do we see those people who had found “the one” and had met their “soul mate” only to be getting divorced a few years later because of irreconcilable differences? What happened? Did they find the wrong one? Or did they just do the wrong work?

It takes work to build a level of trust with someone who may not meet every item on a list of criteria, but is willing to accept you with your flaws and see who you are as a human being. It takes time and flexibility to build and maintain compatibility with someone who may not agree with you on everything, but can look into the future and share a greater vision for your lives.

Soul mates aren’t born, they’re created.

Instead of believing that meeting that “one” is what determines whether or not a relationship will last forever, we need to think harder about how we will create that forever in our relationships.

BMWK – Do you believe in soul mates? 

About the author

Aja Dorsey Jackson wrote 214 articles on this blog.

Aja Dorsey Jackson is a freelance writer and marriage educator in Baltimore, Maryland and author of the blog and book, Making Love in the Microwave.


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